Weeklys, Coach Mack, Andy Kelly In Local HOF Class

March 3 Induction Dinner - Greater Chattanooga HOF

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Led by current golf coach Mark Guhne, former men’s basketball coach Mack McCarthy and former softball coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has a major presence in this year’s Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

Eight of the 19 inductees either were or are coaches with UTC, or starred in their respective sports for the Mocs.

Wrestlers Reggie Gaddis and Danny Gilbert and tennis players Stewart Lawwill and Gary McIntyre were eminently successful UTC athletes.

The impressive class also includes former UT Vol quarterback Andy Kelly, baseball stars Robert Long and Larry Knight, champion diver Ellen Kovacevich and All-American swimmer Trei Wild.

Others entering the Hall include Tracy Bleil for bowling, Norman Hofferman in softball, Tommy Layne as administrator, Cathy Ryals in track, Hugh Walker for basketball and Mark Wiedmer in sports writing.

48th Hall of Fame Dinner: The HOF dinner is set for March 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Chattanooga Convention and Trade Center.

Tickets are $35 available through the hall of fame president John Farr at 423/875-9282. The deadline to buy tickets is Feb. 20.

McCarthy is the winningest basketball coach in UTC history with a 243-122 mark. Currently an assistant athletic director at East Carolina, McCarthy won 20 or more games eight times and his teams won five Southern Conference regular season titles and four tournaments. He was the head coach in the magical 1996-97 season in which the Mocs gained the Sweet 16.

The Weeklys, now in their 12th year as softball co-head coaches with the Lady Vols, served in the same capacity with the Lady Mocs. UTC won the SoCon regular season championship three times in the five seasons they coached and the tournament twice.

Guhne, who has been head golf coach since 2005, has had a remarkable run with the Mocs, twice seeing his team ranked No. 1 in the regular season, winning five Southern Conference titles, as well as the prestigious Carpet Capital and the East Regional. Guhne’s teams have qualified for two NCAA tournaments with a high finish of 12th in 2009.

Kelly, who prepped at Rea County, guided the Vols to two SEC titles and was the MVP in the 1991 Sugar Bowl. He played 15 years in the Arena Football League, setting numerous records.

Gaddis and Gilbert were both Moc wrestlers and successful officials. Gaddis was most valuable freshman in 1970 and most valuable on team in 1973. He was undefeated state champion for Notre Dame in 1969 and was a referee for 19 years with TSSAA. Gilbert was 7-2 on 1976 UTC team that was second in NCAA Division II tournament. He was a state champion for East Ridge in 1975 and has been a prosperous wrestling and softball coach. Gilbert has been officiating for TSSAA since 1994 and was Referee of Year in 2008.

Lawwill and McIntyre were both UTC tennis stars. McIntyre played on two UTC teams that won the Southern Conference while the Mocs won all four years Lawwill played. Lawwill won five SoCon individual titles, and continued his brilliant play after college. He won a national 35s title and five straight Southern 30s. McIntyre assisted as coach with UTC 1984-1997, coached Notre Dame boys and girls and helped run the Chattanooga Junior Development program.

Bleil set many women bowling marks while winning numerous Chattanoga, Greater Chattanooga and state titles. She was inducted into the Chattanooga Area Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 2012.

Hanna was an exquisite diver for GPS and the Fairyland Club, winning the state diving title three times. She was also unbeaten in city dual meet competition for two years.

Hofferman led the Dixie Major League in hitting while playing for Chattanooga Gas and made the all-state team four times, all- region twice. Layne has served 13 years on the TSSAA board of controls and won over 400 games as head basketball coach at Whitwell.

Knight and Long dominated pitching while prepping at Lookout Valley and Chattanooga Central, respectively. Knight still holds several prep marks, while Long continued his storied career at Shorter College and went on to play two years in the Major Leagues.

Ryals led Howard to the state track championship in 1984 then won the pentathlon and 300 meter hurdles two years later. Walker was a successful women’s basketball coach at Calhoun High School and started the program at Cleveland State.

Wild was a four-time swimming All-America at McCallie who later swam for the Vols at UT. He set several pool and city records during his career and held the state 50 free record for high schools at one point.

Wiedmer has won more than 50 awards for his writing during a career that began in 1983 with the Chattanooga News Free Press. He has been the Tennessee Sports Association Writer of the Year twice.


2014 Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame Inductees


Tracy Bleil (Special Category): First woman to bowl an 800 series in Chattanooga … First woman to bowl a 300 game at three alleys in greater Chattanooga area … Highest average in city eight times with high of 226…Highest average in state four times … Bowled on PWBA professional tour from 1997-2001, finishing runner-up five times … Holds all-events record with 2301 …Won several state and city events … Inducted into CABA Hall of Fame in 2012.

Reggie Gaddis (Wrestling): Prepped at Notre Dame … undefeated senior year at 23-0, state champion and runner-up for best wrestler at state tournament … wrestled four years for UTC at 126 … most valuable freshman in 1970 … most valuable wrestler 1973…Team captain 1972 and ’73 … Record with Mocs 60-19, highlighted by second-place finish at SEIWA in 1970 and two thirds…TSSAA referee 19 years … started OLPH wrestling program.

Danny Gilbert (Wrestling): State champion in 1975 at 105 pounds and captain of East Ridge squad which won state team title … Wrestled on 1976 UTC team which was second in the NCAA Division II wrestling championship … Coached and taught at Northwest Whitfield, East Ridge, Ooltewah and Sale Creek … currently, the principal at Soddy Daisy HS … Pioneers won small school state duals title in 1991… State runner-up in 2006 at Ooltewah…Officiated TSSAA 1994-present and Referee of Year in 2008…Worked as volunteer in NCAA tournament 16 years.

Mark Guhne (Golf): Head coach at UTC, his alma mater, since 2005 where he has been Southern Conference Coach of the Year four times and guided the Mocs to five SoCon titles and 17 team championships including Carpet Capital and East Region … Named Eaton/Golf Pride East Region Coach of Year in 2009 … Mocs have twice been ranked No. 1 in country during regular seasons and qualified for NCAA Championships in 2009 and 2012 ... Has coached four All-Americans and U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox.

Ellen Kovacevich Hanna (Swimming/Diving): How many divers can say they won a state title and then in the same meet swim on a championship relay team ? (or vice versa  swimming to diving)… arguably a short list … Hanna did it three times (1968-70) for GPS … three time state high school diving champion while competing for GPS … three-time state high school medley relay champion while swimming backstroke … Unbeaten in Chattanooga Youth Foundation dual meet competition in summers of 1968 and ’69 … Two-time city meet champion … Competed in synchronized swimming…Member of GPS Hall of Fame (2006) … Coached at Fairyland Club 1971-73…  Cotton Ball Queen, 1973.

Norman Hofferman (Softball): Played on four state championship fast pitch teams and was all-state four times, all region twice … Led the Chattanooga Dixie Major League in hitting once with a .343 mark, averaged over .300 all 16 years he played … While playing for Chattanooga Gas in 1963 state tournament, he had three homers, two doubles and drove in 11 runs … also starred in slow pitch with Kobax and Golden Gallon, hitting more than 100 home runs.

Andy Kelly (Football):  Former Rhea County all-state and Gatorade All-America quarterback … broke many passing records at the University of Tennessee where he was a three-year starter who led the Vols to two SEC titles and was the MVP of the 1991 Sugar Bowl … Professionally, he played two years in the World Football League for Rhein Fire and 15 years in the Arena Football League … Kelly set many records in the Arena League, including passing yards, pass completions and TDs … nominated for the Arena League Hall of Fame in 2013.

Larry Knight (Baseball): Being honored posthumously (2002) … One of best prep pitchers ever in Greater Chattanooga history … Led Lookout Valley to 1980 state championship … Still is ranked second nationally in strikeouts per game in a season (18.6) and second career (15.1) … Holds city record for most Ks season (223) and career (589) … five career no-hitters … Struck out 28 in extra inning game against Polk County … Holds record for career ERA (1.12) … Played five years in the minor leagues.

Stewart Lawwill (Tennis): Southern champion five years running (1992-1996) in 30s and 35s … Won national 35s singles in 1998 in Springfield, Mo. …Won City Singles 30s title six years in a row (1991-1996) … Won the City Open three times … On national championship team Southern Section in 1996 and in 1993 with Flexall 454 … Won 35s doubles in 1998 … Prepped at McCallie where he was three-year starter … Member of UTC SoCon champ teams four years ... won five SoCon individual titles.

Tommy Layne (Coaching/ Administration): Currently principal at Sequatchie County HS where he serves as a member of the TSSAA Board of Controls … On board of directors for TACA for five years … Boys basketball coach at high school alma mater Whitwell for 23 years, two at Sequatchie … Had 18 seasons with 20-plus wins, seven district titles … Coached girls at Whitwell three years, winning 20-plus games every year … Started Whitwell baseball program and coached 9 years.

Robert Long (Baseball): Played in Major Leagues two years, one with Pittsburg Pirates, the other with Seattle … In 1981, he was arguably the best pitcher in AAA, going 15-3 with Portland in the Pacific Coast League and an ERA of 2.98 … Finished his Minor League career with 70-56 mark … Was dominating pitcher in college with Shorter College and inducted into school’s inaugural athletic Hall of Fame … All-district and all-state senior year of high school at Central.

Mack McCarthy (Basketball): Winningest basketball coach in UTC history (243-122) with six 20-plus wins … Regular season champs eight times in 12 years with the Mocs …Won Southern Conference tournament five times … Made NCAA tournament five times, highlighted by 1997 appearance in the Sweet 16, and NIT twice … SoCon Coach of Year three times … Also head coach at VCU and Eastern Carolina … Was 342-233 in 19-year career … Assistant AD at East Carolina 2010-present.

Gary McIntyre (Tennis): Played on two SoCon champion teams while playing for UTC, 1973-76 … Assistant coach with Mocs 1977-84 when school won eight straight SoCon titles … Also coached at OLPH and Notre Dame … Won City Recreation singles and doubles titles in 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s … Captured 17 city and states closed titles … Coached Notre Dame girls to state title … Best of Preps Tennis Coach of Year in 2013 … Helped run Chattanooga Junior Development tennis program.

Cathy Ryals (Track): Ryals won two state championships while competing for Howard in track … She captured the pentathlon and the 300 meter low hurdles in 1986, two years after helping lead Howard to the state track championship in 1984.

Hugh Walker (Basketball): Already in two Halls of Fame, TCCAA and Tennessee Wesleyan … Started women’s basketball program at Cleveland State where he coached 11 years, winning 205 and losing just 60 … NJCAA region champs four times … Team finished fourth in nation in 1975-76, was seventh in 1974-75 … National coach of year in NJCAA in 1978 … Coach of Year TJCAA 1976 … Coached Calhoun to 33-3 mark, district, region sub-state titles in 1971.

Karen Weekly (Softball): Co-Head softball coach at the University of Tennessee with husband Ralph…Was two-time academic All-American at Pacific Lutheran … Led nation in hitting as a senior with .440 average … She became an assistant to Ralph in 1987 … The two led the Lutes to NAIA national titles in 1988 and ’92 … They became co-head coaches at UTC in 1997, leading the Mocs to a 223-97 mark before departing for UT where they have been 618-188 with two national runners-up.

Ralph Weekly (Softball): Co-head softball coach with wife Karen at UT for 12 years … Ralph was inducted into National Fastpitch Hall of Fame in 2011 … He is internationally known as a hitting coach and has earned two Olympic gold medals as a coach … Is 1119-369 as head collegiate coach, 618-188 at UT and 191-88 at UTC … National runners-up in 2013 and 2007 with Vols … Won SEC tournament twice … At UTC won four tournament and regular season championships ... Earned two NAIA titles at Pacific Lutheran.

Trey Wild (Swimming): Four time All-America swimmer at McCallie (1976-1979) … two-time state champion in 50 free and set benchmark in state senior year … Won state 100 fly as a senior … In 1979 Junior Olympics was third in 100 fly and sixth in 100 free … In 1978 in All-America Invitational in Austin, TX was fourth in 50 free, fifth in 100 fly and seventh in 100 free … Held various school and pool records in Southeast … swam for Vols 1979-1982, was SEC point scorer all four years.

Mark Wiedmer (Sports Writer):  Two-time Tennessee Sports Writer of the Year … Has won over 50 writing awards in a career that began in 1983 with the Chattanooga News Free Press … Two of those awards came from the Football Writers Association … He has won three feature awards from the Tennessee Sports Writers Association and at least two for his columns … An outstanding artist, his paintings have been published in several papers and used by the SEC and Southern Conference.

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net





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